Megadiverse Mexico welcomes UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay

The UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay, the Federal Secretary of Culture, Alejandra Frausto, the DG representative in Mexico Frédéric Vacheron and members of the UNESCO Office in Mexico.

Gender perspective, one of the topics of greater interest, presented by UNESCO Director-General

Mexico City, February 26, 2020- Culture is a vehicle for dialogue and a bridge for diversity. It was in this spirit that the Director-General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Audrey Azoulay, began her first day of activities during her mission to Mexico, in the context of the High-Level Event "Building a Decade of Action for Indigenous Languages", which will be inaugurated on February 27, 2020, at the Los Pinos Cultural Complex, and where the international community will lay the foundations for a Global Action Plan for the organization of the International Decade of Indigenous Languages (2023-2032).


In a first meeting, Azoulay held a private meeting with the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Mexico, Antonio Molpeceres, in which they shared the global and local actions that need to be promoted to accelerate the fulfilment of the Sustainable Development Goals of Agenda 2030.


Azoulay visited the emblematic National Museum of Anthropology that since 1964 was built to be one of the main spaces to safeguard the Mexican cultural heritage and the legacy of its original peoples, through its archaeological and ethnographic collections in 22 rooms, more than 7 thousand works and more than 45 thousand square meters.


The National Museum was built as part of the National Museum Plan, promoted by the then Secretary of Public Education, Jaime Torres Bodet, who had served as the second Director-General of UNESCO. Now, the current head of the Organization, treads on the site that one of his predecessors had imagined.


Audrey Azoulay also toured the halls of the National Museum of Art where the exhibition "Voices of the Earth" is on display. Indigenous Languages," a montage produced in 2019, the International Year of Indigenous Languages, and inaugurated during the National Indigenous Language Fair. The exhibition features more than 180 paintings, sculptures, engravings, photographs and textiles that speak of indigenous peoples and their languages, by authors such as Manuel Vilar, Rodrigo Gutiérrez, Luis Coto, Antonio García Cubas, José María Velasco, Graciela Iturbide and Pedro Valtierra.


Among the works of Rufino Tamayo and José María Velasco, the Director-General of UNESCO held a dialogue with the Federal Secretary of Culture, Alejandra Frausto, who shared some of the characteristics of Mexico's linguistic diversity, its relationship with nature and the knowledge it holds for the conservation of the environment, in addition to sharing the actions taken to advance towards gender equity: "We recognized that a culture is a powerful tool for, little by little, eradicating violence against girls and women," said Frausto.


Mexico City is one of the most recognized sites by UNESCO. Its Historic Centre and of Xochimilco are inscribed on the World Heritage List, the City has been recognized as Creative City, it is also part of the sites of memory of the Slave Route, and of the Coalition of Latin American and Caribbean Cities against Racism, Discrimination and Xenophobia. This is why, during the meeting between Azoulay and Mexico City's Head of Government, Claudia Sheinbaum, their dialogue focused on programmes and actions aimed at the consolidation of an inclusive, resilient and peaceful city.


During the meeting, Azoulay reiterated the Organization's commitment to its Action Plan for Priority Gender Equality 2014-2021, for which Sheinbaum shared some of the capital government's projects, such as promoting science in girls from an early age.


Always in the company of her Representative in Mexico, Frédéric Vacheron, and members of the UNESCO Office in Mexico, the Director-General toured Mexico City's Historical Centre, the Zócalo of the capital and the Antiguo Colegio de San Ildefonso, to mention but a few, with the guidance of historian Federico Navarrete.


Also accompanying the Director-General on this day were Ernesto Ottone, UNESCO's Assistant Director-General for Culture; Sophie El Akremi, Head of the Unit for Latin America and the Caribbean; Sunna Altnoder, Counsellor for Culture, Communication and Information; as well as Mexican officials, such as Adelfo Regino, Director of the National Institute of Indigenous Languages; Lucina Jiménez, Head of the National Institute of Fine Arts; Pablo Raphael de la Madrid, Director-General of Promotion and Cultural Festivals of the Ministry of Culture; Rosaura Ruiz Gutiérrez, Secretary of Education, Science, Technology and Innovation of Mexico City; Larisa Ortiz Quintero, Secretary of Original Towns and Neighbourhoods and Resident Indigenous Communities; Diana Alarcón, Coordinator of Advisors and International Affairs of the Government of Mexico City; and Diana Ludlow Deloya, General Coordinator of the Historical Centre Authority.